France enshrining abortion rights into Constitution may be ‘inspiration’ to EU activists, lawmakers

A French government plan to enshrine the “freedom” to have an abortion in the constitution is to be tested Wednesday in a crucial vote in the right-dominated Senate. President Emmanuel Macron last year pledged to inscribe the right to terminate a pregnancy — which has been legal in France since 1974 — in the constitution after the US Supreme Court in 2022 overturned the half-century-old right to the procedure, allowing states to ban or curtail abortion. France’s lower-house National Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favour of making abortion a “guaranteed freedom” in late January, with almost all members of Macron’s centrist minority coalition as well as left-wing opposition parties approving it. But the plan still needs backing from the Senate, which is controlled by the right, with several leading senators opposed to the change. Only if the upper house approves the government’s exact wording on Wednesday afternoon can a combined vote of both chambers of parliament be held next month towards changing the constitution. Otherwise it will be sent back to the National Assembly for further debate. For in-depth analysis and a deeper perspective on France’s crucial Senate vote to decide on making abortion a constitutional ‘freedom’, FRANCE 24’s Delano D’Souza is joined by Anna Błuś, Researcher at Amnesty International specializing in Women’s Rights and Gender-Based Justice in Europe.

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